Honoring Stellar Volunteers

Portraits of Jane Freedman Helmchen ’61, Mei-Mei Tuan ’88, Francine Miltenberger ’78, and Mana Unchino ’88

Jane Freedman Helmchen ’61 and Mei-Mei Tuan ’88 (top row), Francine Miltenberger ’78 and Mana Unchino ’88 (bottom row)

At BLUEprint, the Alumnae Association’s volunteer training program that was held remotely this fall, the WCAA celebrated significant service with its annual Sed Ministrare Volunteer Awards. We congratulate the 2020 recipients:

Jane Freedman Helmchen ’61 has shared the benefits of Wellesley with prospective students in Germany for decades, volunteering as an Alumnae Admission Representative since 1964. In 2000, Jane started an informal Wellesley-in-Germany group, inviting alums to gather at her home. Over the years this turned into an annual outing to different German cities with cultural excursions, dinners, and many conversations, all spearheaded by Jane. She has also been the key contact for the Alumnae Association in Germany for the last 20 years, welcoming new alums to the area, connecting with visiting faculty, and keeping alums updated on the College.

Mei-Mei Tuan ’88 is a dedicated volunteer committed to fostering Wellesley connections with enthusiasm, energy, and appreciation for the entire community. She is currently president of the class of ’88, active in the Business Leadership Council, and a mentor for the HIVE. Mei-Mei has also been a long-time Alumnae Admission Representative for the New Jersey Wellesley Club, hosting several events each year, including the summer send-off for first-years. Other past volunteer roles include president of the New Jersey club, class reunion committee member, and Annual Fund and Durant Committee volunteer for the Development Office. Mei-Mei also served on the WCAA board from 2008 to 2012.

Francine Miltenberger ’78 and Mana Unchino ’88 are both members of the Wellesley Club of Silicon Valley, where they launched Circles, a Wellesley version of the program of the same name originated by Harvard Business School alumnae as informal groups for female graduates. Francine and Mana adapted the program for their club by creating small groups of local Wellesley alums who connect monthly to build deep relationships and provide peer support and inspiration for each other. Members of the groups represent an array of alums from diverse professional paths, class years, and personal backgrounds. With training from Francine and Mana, the Wellesley Club of Los Angeles has also rolled out this popular program. Both Francine and Mana have also been active volunteers for Wellesley, holding multiple positions in their classes and clubs.

If you know club, class, or Shared Identity Group volunteers who inspire you, you can nominate them for this award until April 1, 2021, at bit.ly/SedMinAward.


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